Saturday, April 1, 2017

blue ribbon -- an annual post

every april I pull out my blue ribbon and pin it on my shirt. 
the first time I did it, I worried about what people would think/say.
I worried they would ask what it meant.
I worried they wouldn't ask what it meant.
I worried about what I would say.
I worried about what I wouldn't say.
each year that I have worn the blue ribbon it has become a little easier to set aside the worrying -- to expect nothing -- to be happy with a good conversation -- to set aside the discomfort of others.
it hasn't gotten any easier to have them look away though.
as I was having blood drawn at the doctor's office, the technician said, "what's your pin for?"
"april is child abuse awareness month. I am a survivor."
"oh", startled, she looked away, and I felt it again. the guilt and shame. 
what did she think of me now?
should I have kept my mouth shut?
not worn my blue ribbon?
there was no more conversation and little eye contact. she drew my blood, while I dealt with the pain of the needle in my arm and the accusation in her looking away. I was damaged goods all over again. I was at fault. I was less than.
I read a post about seeing people.
all I want is to be seen for who I am. a grown woman who is still 5 years old inside, wishing someone would intercede for me. wishing I didn't feel guilty and ashamed for others' actions.
but every april I pull out my blue ribbon and pin it on my shirt.

(this post was originally published April 13, 2012 -- I repost it every April in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month / Child Abuse Prevention Month)

Friday, March 10, 2017

five minute friday :: abandon

abandon -- give up completely (a course of action, a practice, or a way of thinking)

It's been a rough 18 months for me. There have been major life changes, a lot of hurt and worry, stress, anxiety, and guilt. Maybe I'm beginning to come through on the other side.

I've had to abandon some dreams and recognize false assumptions. And that's really difficult. I can be idealistic at times. Always the optimist, I'm likely to keep giving people chances long after any reasonable person would.

I really want to believe the best of everyone. I want to believe that each person wants to improve and change as much as I do. That everyone is willing and able to work as hard as I have to overcome adversity. Optimism is a great approach to life until it becomes tainted with unrealistic expectations, and then it can lead you down some rabbit trails that will make you dizzy and sick until you acknowledge the need for a new start.

Abandoning unreality is a good thing. I tend to have a negative connotation of the word abandon, but the reality is the word is neither good nor bad. It's all about context. No, I shouldn't abandon my children or those who are truly in need. I will never abandon my faith, and there are friends that I know will never abandon me. But I can't really abandon something that was never there or is no longer there.

I'm changing my perspective on that word (because I'm all about words!) and moving forward in realistic optimism and possibility.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Friday, February 3, 2017

Breathe -- Five Minute Friday

I've been trying to catch my breath for the past 5 months. Lots of changes in my world. Lots of obstacles -- physical, emotional, and spiritual. 

I have asthma, and stress makes it worse. So there's been trouble both literally breathing and figuratively breathing. 

I've double downed on my spiritual and emotional work. I've tried to keep the house clean and not to be too hard on myself for struggling. I got some new meds and adjusted some activities and behaviors (I hope temporarily). There have been times I've thought this was just the way it was going to be for the rest of my life. (I can be pretty black and white, absolute in my thinking!)

A couple of weeks ago I realized I was breathing easier literally and figuratively. I tried not to over analyze it. When the opportunity arose for a long weekend at the beach, I didn't think about it. I just grabbed it.

That's how I find myself sitting on the balcony of my condo with a view of the beach breathing in salt air and practically watching some of the stress melt away. 

Trusting in God is like breathing. Sometimes it's harder than others. 

I'm just glad for the opportunity to trust . . . and breathe.


linking up with Five Minute Friday